Since 2008 over 200 cities worldwide celebrate International Beer Day on the first Friday of August. On IBD we’re meant to:
- gather with friends and enjoy the deliciousness of beer.
- acknowledge the men and women who brew and serve beer.
- bring the world together by celebrating the beers of all nations and cultures.
According to their journals, the Pilgrims chose in 1620 to land at Plymouth Rock in part because they needed to restock their supply of beer. Indeed, the first permanent structure they built was a brewery, and Americans have been brewing ever since. By 1810 New York City alone had 42 breweries. In Canada the first brewer registered is Jesuit Brother Ambroise, who began making beer in 1646. In 1668 Intendant Jean Talon established Canada’s first commercial brewery in Quebec City. The brewery sold its beers in the West Indies, making it the first Canadian beer ever exported.
- Beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and the third-most popular drink overall (after water and tea).
- With an annual production volume of about 45 billion litres, China is the world’s largest producer of beer, 12 years running.
- The Czech Republic is the beer drinking capital of the world, with a per capita consumption of 37.6 gallons a year, compared to 17.4 in Canada and 20.8 in the U.S.
- Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
- 85-90% of beer consumed in Canada is manufactured in Canada.
- Beer contains a high level of silicon which increases the calcium deposits and minerals for healthy bone tissue.
- The world’s largest beer festival is Oktoberfest, held annually in Munich. The 16-day event attracts more than six million people every year.
- Beer and marijuana have more in common than we might think. Beer’s hops are in the same family of flowering plants as marijuana.
- President George Washington had his own brew house at Mount Vernon.
- Since 2013 Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer to clean the city’s streets, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in a project funded partly by the Dutch government.
- More Guinness beer is drunk in Nigeria than Ireland.
- McDonald’s serves beer in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands.
On Friday, August 3, 2018, I raise a glass of craft beer in a toast to my family and friends. •